An agent who is a sole trader has de-listed from Rightmove, saying that he simply could not afford to continue paying £15,000 a year.
Ian Bainbridge was paying Rightmove £1,200 per month compared with his rent of £800.
Bainbridge, who has also come off Zoopla, now lists only on OnTheMarket.
As a gold member Bainbridge – who runs Scott Bainbridge in Kendal – does not have a free subscription, but pays around £300 a month.
He told EYE: “I liked the concept behind OnTheMarket from the outset. I do not get inundated with leads, but when I get one, it’s worth acting upon.
“I simply could not afford Rightmove’s charges. I started this business about seven years ago, just myself and a laptop, and although I’ve grown it, I don’t have more than a couple of dozen properties on my books at any one time plus 20 or 30 properties under management.
“When I told them they would have to do something about their charges, they came back to me and said they would reduce the price by taking lettings off.
“I said ‘That’s not a reduced price you’re offering, it’s a reduced service’.
“I don’t mind being quite vocal about this, because I know there are other agents in my position, paying more in Rightmove subscriptions than they are in rent.”
Bainbridge was only on Rightmove for 12 months – he says that after long resistance he succumbed to the message that membership was essential – but de-listed from this week, and said that he has so far not had a single vendor complain.
He said: “Rightmove think they can charge what they like because agents can’t do without them. But in fact most of my business comes from word of mouth and local reputation – people know me and trust me.
“When I get an instruction, they know I will do absolutely everything in my power to sell it. I often use the strapline ‘We do take it personally’ on social media – and I mean it.”
Bainbridge, a Christian, said he donates 10% of his sales commissions to causes that help local people, including a hospice.
He said: “I am now free to spend £15,000 a year on other things.”